Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda: Ultrarunners Conquered Northern Europe´s Largest Mountain Plateau in Storm
ASKER, Norway--(BUSINESS WIRE)--117 ultra runners from 14 nationalities have this weekend battled their way to the top of Mount Gaustatoppen in Norway during treacherous weather conditions.
The second edition of Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda saw the runners start their 123 kilometre-long journey at Dyranut Mountain Lodge in Western Norway at 12.04 noon Friday 4th July.
Running in a national park
Taking the athletes over the mighty Hardangervidda National Park and through some of the most beautiful scenery in Norway, the Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda challenges even the most seasoned runner.
Following marked trails across the vast mountain plateau, the athletes had to navigate by GPS and check in at five checkpoints en route before ascending the majestic Mount Gaustatoppen (1 883 metres above sea level).
88 runners completed the gruelling race but there was one who outclassed them all. Having led the race right from the start, 40 year-old Thomas Andersen from Norway, crossed the finish line at 02.08 am Saturday morning with the impressive finishing time of 14 hours and 4 minutes.
- I opened hard and had decided before the race to make this a solo run. The final kilometres were extremely challenging. Gale force winds and reduced visibility in Southern Norway´s largest pile of rocks made Salomon Xreid Hardangervidda to a unique experience, says a proud Thomas.
- The climax of this race was outstanding. All other ultra races have finish lines involving asphalt and town centres, but Gaustatoppen has without doubt rocks as far as the eye can see.
In second place, 1 hour and 36 minutes after Thomas, came another Norwegian, Eirik Johannessen. Just a split second after him, came yet another Norwegian, Dag Olav Tho, and Paul Raistrick from Scotland.
First woman up
At 07.17 Saturday morning, Jenn Gaskell from the UK reached the finish line at the summit. Last year the 26-year-old was the first and only woman to accomplish the entire race.
- It was really hard this year as it was a shorter distance and I wanted to run faster. I really enjoyed the cold weather and head winds. Combined with the dark skies at the end, I felt at one with nature. I really gained energy from the challenging summit climb, says a happy Jenn.